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The 'Sacred' Cod Moves to the New State House

January 11, 1798
January 11, 1798

The 'Sacred' Cod Moves to the New State House

On this day in 1798, the Massachusetts legislature paraded solemnly from the Old State House to its quarters in a new building at the top of Beacon Hill. Designed by Boston-born architect Charles Bulfinch, the...

Boston Swears in First Irish-born Mayor

January 5, 1885
January 5, 1885

Boston Swears in First Irish-born Mayor

On this day in 1885, Hugh O'Brien, the first Irish immigrant elected mayor of Boston, took the oath of office. A new era was beginning. For several decades, the Roman Catholic Irish had outnumbered the...

JFK's Farewell to Massachusetts Legislature

January 9, 1961
January 9, 1961

JFK's Farewell to Massachusetts Legislature

On this day in 1961, John F. Kennedy bade farewell to the people of Massachusetts and reminded them of the state's unique legacy. In a speech at the State House, the youngest man and first...

Isaiah Thomas Born

January 19, 1749
January 19, 1749

Isaiah Thomas Born

On this day in 1749, the Patriot printer Isaiah Thomas was born. In 1770, Thomas established the Massachusetts Spy, the first newspaper aimed at middle-class readers. While other papers were happy with 400 subscribers, the...

The Crucible Opens on Broadway

January 22, 1953
January 22, 1953

The Crucible Opens on Broadway

On this day in 1953, Arthur Miller's play The Crucible opened on Broadway. Four years after winning the Pulitzer Prize for Death of a Salesman, Miller had written a far more controversial play. Set in...

Rebels Attack Springfield Arsenal

January 25, 1787
January 25, 1787

Rebels Attack Springfield Arsenal

On this day in 1787, 2,000 farmers from western Massachusetts attacked the new federal arsenal at Springfield. The government soldiers returned fire, killing three of the farmers. This was the beginning of the end of...

Abigail Adams Knows

February 2, 1775
February 2, 1775

Abigail Adams Knows

On this day in 1775, Abigail Adams wrote sadly "the Die is Cast . . . The Sword is now our only yet dreadful alternative." The day before, news had come from England. King George...

Activist Florence Luscomb Born

February 6, 1887
February 6, 1887

Activist Florence Luscomb Born

On this day in 1887, lifelong political activist Florence Luscomb was born in Lowell. As a child, she heard the legendary Susan B. Anthony speak. In her 20s, she traveled the state campaigning for woman...

Silvio Conte Dies

February 8, 1991
February 8, 1991

Silvio Conte Dies

On this day in 1991, Representative Silvio Conte died at age 70. A Republican in a largely Democratic state, more liberal than most members of his party, the Pittsfield native never lost an election in...

"Gerrymander" Born in Massachusetts

February 11, 1812
February 11, 1812

"Gerrymander" Born in Massachusetts

On this day in 1812, a political monster — the "Gerrymander" — was born in the Massachusetts State House. Governor Elbridge Gerry signed a bill that created oddly-shaped voting districts in several parts of the...